Five lucky children from FSM joined Higher Order Thinkers from Prep Schools around the south in a day of challenges hosted by The Sherborne Schools. The children were in mixed groups from different schools at each event.

First up was philosophy. Could they debate and consider the meaning in Plato’s Cave? Many taxing questions were aimed at the children and they really stepped up to the allegory of the cave…complete with making the shadow puppets to illustrate the story.

Logic in languages followed first translating a Harry Potter advert from Norwegian. How much could the children figure out from deduction. If that wasn’t challenging enough, there followed a page of ‘Irish’ phrases and using their code breaking skills, the groups had to translate Irish into English: (nócha trí bhád agus buachaill déag =93 boats and fourteen boys by the way) ….phew…that was a tough one but not as tough at the maths puzzles that followed.

The groups were given various puzzles which involved different types of triangles, angles, equations and negative numbers…how many problems could they solve in 45 minutes. They could call on the advice from a ‘Champion’ (a Sherborne student) but they lost points if they did. However, they might get farther using the advice of an expert…what to do??

The jewel in the crown was the biology lab…yes, the children could produce DNA from a series of steps and chemical compounds added to kiwi fruit (very neat!) but how many words could they make from deoxyribonucleic acid; a puzzle they worked on while the chemical compound heated up.

It was a fantastic experience and I am sure the children’s little grey cells were exhausted by the end of the day. We are very grateful to both the Boys and the Girls Schools in Sherborne for an amazing day. The biscuits were noteworthy too!!

Written by: Mrs Cochand